Beat Las Vegas’ summer heat with these cool, family-friendly activities
beat las vegas’ summer heat with these cool, family friendly activities

Beat Las Vegas’ summer heat with these cool, family-friendly activities

Summer in the desert can feel like being stuck inside a hairdryer. So we rounded up some of the best activities to help keep your family cool during the long weekend—and over the next few months.

Topping the list, of course, are water attractions. H20 has already started flowing at free splash pads around town, including Paseo Verde Park in Henderson, Cougar Creek Park in the southwest and Town Square just south of the Strip.

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Head to Cowabunga Waterpark (, which has locations in both Henderson (900 Galleria Drive) and Summerlin (7055 S. Fort Apache Road). Both feature wave pools, water slides and relaxing lazy rivers, making it one of the best ways to spend a hot day.

You can also beat the heat with a day inside a cool museum. The Discovery Children’s Museum (360 Promenade Place, is three stories of entertainment, with a water exhibit, where children can splash around and learn about the power and movement of water, and an art exhibit that teaches about color, line, shape and more. There’s a jungle gym at the center of it all and the museum is always adding new exhibits and activities to its calendar. At the Nevada State Museum(309 S Valley View Boulevard, folks of all ages can enjoy an interactive experience showcasing the history of the Silver State. And once you’ve made your way through the museum, it’s an easy walk over to the Springs Preserve, which features live animal exhibits including gray foxes and tortoises—plus Memorial Day Weekend will be your last chance to catch the Butterfly Habitat there.

A trip to an arcade can be another cool-down indoor activity, and Las Vegas has plenty from which to choose. GameNest (4525 W Spring Mountain Road, mostly features Japanese, rhythm-based imports, and at $10 for 60 minutes, it’s a great way to try something new. The expandedPinball Hall of Fame (4925 Las Vegas Blvd. S., serves up rows upon rows of, well, pinball, but fans of old-school cabinet games like Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man will find much to love, too. And the Adventuredome (2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S., which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, is another classic choice. The indoor amusement park has all sorts of throwback video and midway games, plus you can ride on the Canyon Blaster roller coaster or spin out on the Disk ’O.

Speaking of rides, FlyOver on the Strip (3771 Las Vegas Blvd. S., is pretty new, so now’s the perfect time to check it out. The immersive ride features a 52.5-foot-wide spherical screen augmented by technology that swoops and dips riders to simulate the feeling of flight. See volcanoes and glaciers on the Iceland experience or prairies, rivers and the lights of Las Vegas Boulevard on the Real Wild West version.

The adult experiences at Area15 (3215 S. Rancho Drive, are already legendary, but the attraction hub offers several family-friendly options, too. Liftoff brings guests to the top of a 130-foot tower for sweeping a 360-degree views of the Strip, and children 12 and under fly free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Inside the venue, the Haley’s Comet zipline allows you to race a friend while enjoying the view. Plus there are fun virtual reality experiences like Five Iron Golf and Birdly, a flight simulator.

Stay active despite the heat with a day at an ice-skating rink, and Las Vegas suddenly has several of those—the Las Vegas Ice Center (9295 W. Flamingo Road #130,, Pepsi Ice Arena at Fiesta Rancho (, City National Arena at Downtown Summerlin (1550 S. Pavilion Center Drive, and Henderson’s Lifeguard Arena (222 S. Water Street.,—all open for public skating and hockey lessons. And speaking of sports, the summer’s a great time to catch the pros in action, with an Aces, Aviators, Knight Hawks or Lights game. Most offer special deals for families and/or kids, so hunt around before you head out.

It wouldn’t truly feel like summer in Las Vegas without Super Summer Theatre ( at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. This year’s first production, Mary Poppins the Musical, runs June 1-25, with Sister Act the Musical (July 13-August 6) and Matilda the Musical (August 24-September 10) lined up behind it. Bring a blanket and your favorite snacks and enjoy the show under the stars. And if you prefer a big screen, head to the classic West Wind Drive In (4150 W. Carey Avenue, Tuesday is Family Fun Night, when admission costs just $6 for adults and $2 for children.

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